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Enhancer / sealer question

Posted by SLTKota (My Page) on
Fri, Jun 28, 13 at 10:14

Hello again!

My slabs are finally getting cut and I am thinking about putting an enhancer on them as I love the look of it on jet mist.

Is an enhancer done in place of a sealer or in addition to one? From what I can tell, it looks like enhancers go on instead of / act as a sealer. Is this correct?

Is there any downside as far as wear and tear? It looks like it might need to be reapplied more often than a sealer but that shouldn't be an issue.

Any suggestions of a good enhancer to go with?

Thanks in advance,
Stuart


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Enhancer / sealer question

A penetrating sealer can be either just that...or an "Enhancing Penetrating Sealer." The bottles will be marked as such. "Stone Tech" (not me...) makes some good one's.

Dampen an area of your slab with some water. If the color "deepens," then an enhancing sealer will make it look like that. If it doesn't change, there is no benefit and just use a standard Penetrating Sealer. Make sense?


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RE: Enhancer / sealer question

I am guessing your jet mist is honed. Sold as a granite actually a gabbro(geological name)
Jet mist is rather porous and will need a good sealing.
If you like the darkened wet look than use a good quality color enhancer. While most color enhancing sealers will seal there are some that will require a second application of an impregnator. Steer clear of those and any type of topical coating. There are many good enhancers with sealing formulations on the market such as aquamix enrich n seal(a bit thick to work with), miracle one step color enhancer and sealer. Tenax makes a good one. Stone tech has one or two. A solvent based color enhancer/sealer seems to work better. These products all have somewhat different formulations so you would want to test the one you pick on a spare piece prior to using it on your tops. The miracle product will give you a good result and will be easy to work with. Remember taking off all the sealer residue from the surface of the stone after applying is the crux of the task. Apply it in manageable sections so you can control the application and you will be fine.
Do a second application 24 hours after the first. Test for porosity after the first application.


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RE: Enhancer / sealer question

Thank you!!!

My slabs were sold to me as jet mist but the name on the sticker on the slabs was "black strype" and it came from Brazil, not the northeast US. The finish is brushed.

I was told that it would not absorb much but the installers were surprised at how dark the enhancer made it look. I stopped by this morning and can tell already that it will need a second coat.

The fabricators put akemi "darkened super" on it and I loved the look of it at first but it is now getting a little blotchy.
I was told a sealer was put on prior to them bringing me the counters but that it wouldn't do much because "this stone won't absorb much" (and would never need resealing) because it isn't very porous so the enhancer would soak in through the sealer...

Now I'm really starting to wonder if they actually sealed it at all... And if they know what they are doing with this type of stone... :/

Thanks again,
Stuart


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RE: Enhancer / sealer question

Oops, double post. 

This post was edited by SLTKota on Tue, Jul 2, 13 at 13:44


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RE: Enhancer / sealer question

Triple post??? Crazy phone...

This post was edited by SLTKota on Tue, Jul 2, 13 at 13:46


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RE: Enhancer / sealer question

SLTkota,
Really it is my pleasure.
I think you are getting some misinformation.
I am Not Familiar with Black Strype granite-would love to see a pic if you could.
Maybe Karin could ID it?
Do you have a spare piece around or can you get one.
You can test it for porosity and acid resistance.
Some of the statements made regarding the sealing and enhancing don't seem to be correct.
You mention that the stone is looking blotchy as well.
We will get back to that!
If the stone isn't very porous how in the world did they seal it. Sealers for stone are impregnating. The sealer correctly applied lives below the surface. Any remaining sealer residue on the surface is removed during the application.
This can only happen when the sealer is absorbed by the stone. If the stone doesn't absorb the sealer is removed from the surface.
Color enhancing sealers can act as dual purpose products.
Color enhancers are mainly used on antiqued, brushed, leathered and honed surfaces.
If the stone you are applying it to is porous the enhancer/sealer will be absorbed by the surface where it will be acting as an impregnator and enhancer. The effect will be like when the stone is wet.
Color enhancing sealers can also act as a topical sealer. If the surface you want to enhance is very dense than the enhancer wont be absorbed. Think of the unpolished surface under a microscope, it looks like nooks and crannies. By applying the enhancer on this type of surface
the applicator must remove all traces of the enhancer. However on a microscopic level the enhancer will fill the tiny nooks and crannies on the surface. There when the carriers or solvent of the enhancer evaporates all that will be left will be the enhancer. It will give the stone a wet look.
It will also need to be maintained from time to time as it will wear from being on the surface.
Hope this all helps you.
Now to get to the blotchy look you mention.
It could mean that they didn't apply the enhancer correctly not removing all the residue. That would cause blotches.
It could be that the first sealer repelled the enhancer and caused the blotchy look. It could also be that the top absorbed the sealer in certain areas and not in others but I doubt it would be that.


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RE: Enhancer / sealer question

Here is a picture of what the island looks like, you can sort of see a dark area on the bottom left of the stone, there are blotchy spots like this all over everything now, some places almost look like something that has been faded by the sun.

The surface of it feels tacky, almost like something was spilled and there is a residue left behind. It is hard to explain but it just doesn't feel right, I find myself washing my hands after I touching it.

When they applied the enhancer they just wet a rag and ran it over the surface very lightly. After reading the instructions, my initial thought was that they did not let it sit long enough to soak in but now I'm starting to wonder if the sealer they claimed to put on let is soak in some places and not others causing the tacky residue.


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RE: Enhancer / sealer question

yes I understand what you are saying-get those guys back there and have them remove and reapply the product correctly.
There should be no tacky residue whatsoever-period.
That is a clear sign that they don't have a clue what they are doing.
If they cant fix this get a stone refinisher who can correct this.


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RE: Enhancer / sealer question

Thank you for your advice. I have now talked to and sent pictures to the home office. It sounds like they are going to send someone from the home office to meet with me and make things right.

Is it possible to remove the sealer from the stone without having to completely refinish the surface? The slabs have already gone from polished to honed and then to brushed before being cut (long story), I can't imagine uninstalling, rebrushing, and then reinstalling would be good.


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RE: Enhancer / sealer question

Good for you!
It is possible with a solvent they can remove the excess sealer.
However depending on how the sealer has cured or not it may be necessary to use a honing powder(280 grit should work great) to remove the excess sealer.
The honing powder will remove the sealer and give the stone a nice uniform honed finish..


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RE: Enhancer / sealer question

Honed... I really don't like that word...

The slabs started out being honed and getting them brushed was not exactly a fun process and it delayed things a few months. If they do need to be sanded down, does that mean uninstalling them and rebrushing them as well?

I'm crossing my fingers that things work out smoothly. I've already told the home office that I'm not working with the local one anymore...
Thanks again for the advice, its nice to get it from a third party.
Stuart


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RE: Enhancer / sealer question

Double post again? Sorry!

This post was edited by SLTKota on Wed, Jul 17, 13 at 11:21


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RE: Enhancer / sealer question

Oh Yes your right-I should have said a nice uniform brushed finish.
if they do have to use honing powder they may need to run some antique brushes to match the brushed finish after the enhancer has been removed.
The brushes will give it a little sheen.
At this point you could use the color enhancer if you like the effect.
Let us know how you do.


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RE: Enhancer / sealer question

I like your granite. It looks a little like the soapstone I am hoping I can afford. I didn't know they did granite in a honed finish, guess I should look into that. Does the sealer not make it shiny again?


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RE: Enhancer / sealer question

Thank you once again srosen!

Musicteacher, I was looking at soapstone as well but ended up deciding I didn't want the upkeep. I found pictures of jet mist/Virginia mist in a honed finish and loved the look, try googling it and you will see a lot of pictures from this site. With an enhancer it looks even more like soapstone.
I ended up going with the brushed/leathered finish because I love how it feels, not only can you see the veins in the stone but you can feel the differences as well. I don't have the honed finish but but I believe it can be sealed without bringing back the polished finish. Before the issues I currently have, this gave me nearly all of the things I liked about soapstone but without as many downsides. I just hope it won't be hard to fix the latest issue.


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RE: Enhancer / sealer question

They are sending up an expert from the home office next week to try and remove the enhancer and the sealer and then try it over again. I am keeping my fingers crossed things will go well.

When the man from the home office is at my house he is going to try to flip the black splash between the raised bar and the counter below as it was installed upside down. The layout was designed around this area matching up and I want it to be fixed. They are worried the back splash will break when they try to remove it and I get the feeling they are going to try to talk me out of fixing it.

I don't want to put the cart before the horse but what should a "high end" granite fabricator do if they brake a section that can't be replaced without ordering a new slab? If it brakes (A very good possibility), it would be impossible to match the original layout/design of the area from my lower counters, up the back splash, and on to the bar ( this was my favorite part of the layout and is also my main entertaining area) without replacing at lease one if not two of the other pieces (about 1/3rd of my granite).

I know this is something that I am being picky about but I was expecting to get what I paid for, and I paid for the best (Before the nearly $1,500 in unexpected expenses).

Thanks again,
Stuart

This post was edited by SLTKota on Wed, Jul 17, 13 at 12:00


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RE: Enhancer / sealer question

That's a tough question-but yes they should take responsibility for what happened.
Do you think you can locate a slab that will match.
Not sure I would do anything until you had a plan in place to make sure the issues get resolved and not worse.
Take care of the sealer issue first. Pulling off and flipping the back splash sounds risky-make sure you have in hand something in writing detailing their plan to satisfy you.


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RE: Enhancer / sealer question

They came up and removed the old enhancer and sealer and re applied them properly they did not flip the backsplash because the installers cut the excess off of the wrong end so even flipped it would not match up the way it was suppose too. I'm not exactly happy about it but it wasn't worth the risk. The granite overall looks 100 times better but there is still a small area where you can still see finger marks from something they used to clean a bit of adhesive that was spilled when it was originally installed. It really isn't too bad and 4 out of 5 people wouldn't notice, but I notice it and keep pushing the fruit bowl over this spot when people come over. I was hoping it would fade away over time but it hasn't. Am I being unreasonable to ask that they try to fix it again?

The other thing that I'm still not too pleased about is how it feels, this could Iebe me being picky but was drawn to textured granite because of how it feels like bare stone. With just a sealer on the granite it still feels this way but with the enhancer it feels like it was painted or has a coat of something over it (I know the enhancer is something coated on the granite). I was originally told it would feel no different with the enhancer but it does feel different. Is this normal or do I need to try a different enhancer? It is no longer sticky and you can still feel all of the texture but it does feel like someone put a coat of clear paint on top of it. Do all enhancers do this?
Thanks again for all of the help!


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RE: Enhancer / sealer question

They came up and removed the old enhancer and sealer and re applied them properly they did not flip the backsplash because the installers cut the excess off of the wrong end so even flipped it would not match up the way it was suppose too. I'm not exactly happy about it but it wasn't worth the risk. The granite overall looks 100 times better but there is still a small area where you can still see finger marks from something they used to clean a bit of adhesive that was spilled when it was originally installed. It really isn't too bad and 4 out of 5 people wouldn't notice, but I notice it and keep pushing the fruit bowl over this spot when people come over. I was hoping it would fade away over time but it hasn't. Am I being unreasonable to ask that they try to fix it again?

The other thing that I'm still not too pleased about is how it feels, this could Iebe me being picky but was drawn to textured granite because of how it feels like bare stone. With just a sealer on the granite it still feels this way but with the enhancer it feels like it was painted or has a coat of something over it (I know the enhancer is something coated on the granite). I was originally told it would feel no different with the enhancer but it does feel different. Is this normal or do I need to try a different enhancer? It is no longer sticky and you can still feel all of the texture but it does feel like someone put a coat of clear paint on top of it. Do all enhancers do this?
Thanks again for all of the help!


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RE: Enhancer / sealer question

Sounds like your almost there-Enhancers may make the stone feel a bit smoother.
What product did they use?
We use enhancers all the time and I haven't heard anyone complain about the way the enhancer felt or made the stone feel.
You should send them a picture of the mark you aren't happy with and have them correct it.


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RE: Enhancer / sealer question

Thanks again for the help!

They put Akemi "Darkener Super" on. It now has the look I was wanting but it does feel like there is a light coat of clear paint on it, though it could be that I am just extremely picky.

The texture still there and it doesn't feel completely smooth, it just doesn't feel like bare rock. I loved how it felt like bare rock even with the sealer on it but now with the enhancer and the sealer it just feels.... different.

It is hard to describe but when you feel the scrap pieces (with a sealer but no enhancer) it feels different than the ones with a sealer. It isn't a big difference but it is enough that on a scrap piece I could tell you which end had the enhancer with my eyes closes.

It could be that I am extremely detailed, I just love the LOOK of the granite with the enhancer but I love how it feels with just the sealer.

Thanks again,
Stuart

This post was edited by SLTKota on Wed, Sep 25, 13 at 16:40


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RE: Enhancer / sealer question

Glad I could help-I know that Akemi is a well known brand but I am not familiar with their color enhancers.
I went back and reread the thread.
The trick to applying these enhancers is removing the excess product.
Think of the surface as nooks and cranny's like an English muffin. But at a microscopic level the color enhancer just fills those nooks and cranny's.
So it has to be applied lightly.
Can you post a picture-just curious to see what it looks like.


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